Windsor Locks’ new police chief Eric Osanitsch was sworn in front a room packed with town officials, employees, and police officers Monday.
First Selectman Steven N. Wawruck Jr. swore in Osanitsch saying the town has a police chief who is not aspiring to the position, or will be learning on the job, but is ready for the job.
“He will hit the ground running,” Wawruck said. “In the short time I’ve known the chief he’s impressed me.”
Osanitsch, 47, is retiring from the Bristol Police Department after being chief for a little more than a year. He has been credited with helping to solve a lot of the difficulties the department was going through.
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Osanitsch, who starts work on August 20, will be paid an annual salary of $107,000. He said he is excited about starting his new job.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,”Osanitsch said. “Everyone I’ve met so far has been wonderful.”
The Windsor Locks Police Commission formally approved a memorandum of understanding with Osanitsch during Monday’s special meeting. Police officials announced in April that they had chosen a candidate for the position but had to wait until a physical examination, polygraph test, psychological exam and back ground check were completed.
Commission Chairman Kevin Brace said he is happy to reach this point and he believes the new police chief is part of a resurgence of the town.
“The department is in very good hands,” Brace said.
He will take over a department that has had a tough time since the October 29, 2010 accident in which 15-year-old Henry Dang was killed while he road his bicycle home. Former Officer Michael Koistinen pleaded guilty in June to second-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence and will be sentenced on August 27.
Wawruck and Osanitsch both praised the department’s officers for their professionalism in handling their jobs since the accident. Osanistch said he is confident that department has the personnel and professionalism to improve.
“We can’t live in the past, but we can learn from the past,” Osanitsch said.
Officer Sebastion Garofalo, president of the Windsor Locks Police Union, said the officers are ecstatic about having a new police chief.
“We’ve been waiting a long time,” Garofalo said. “The biggest thing we’ve been waiting for is a leader. That’s something that’s been past due even before the chief position was empty."
Among the things that need to be done is the completion of the department’s general orders, or operating rules, which Garofalo said are outdated. The officers like to know what rules the are working under when they come in to work every day, he said.
The officers had a meet and greet session with Osanitsch before his name was officially released, Garofalo said.
"We can't wait for him to come on board," he said.